Skills Shortages Even the UK has Problems

Posted on: 23.05.2012    16:20:40

 Countries around the globe are compounding their own problems and exacerbating skills shortages through a lack of anticipation and action rather resulting in knee jerk reaction.

We have written extensively about the global challenge  but it is time to look a little closer to home.

In the UK one in three vacancies for trades including electricians, plumbers and chefs are difficult to fill because of applicant skill shortages – twice the figure for the economy as a whole, where 16% of vacancies were seen as hard to fill due to skills shortage. This stretches to included welders, millers, turners, CNC operators and other skilled positions

This is according to a survey of over 85,000 employers across the UK produced by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The survey also finds that childminders, care assistants and nurses are the professionals most likely to receive training, at 70% of employees, while factory workers, bar staff (both 48%) and managers (45%) among the least trained. But whilst training may occur staff turnover is likely to remain high as another employee complaint is a lack of communication and not feeling valued in the workplace.

Astonishingly, 41% of employers provided no training for staff at all in the past 12 months.

Jeremy Anderson, chairman of the global financial services practice at KPMG, and a commissioner at UKCES, says: “Some employers are outstanding at training their staff, but many are not. This has led to the development of so-called ‘skills potholes’ – areas, sectors or occupations which are suffering from deep, painful and persistent skills gaps.

“Like potholes they are often ignored, but risk making the road to economic recovery throughout the UK bumpier and slower than it needs to be.”

Skills minister John Hayes adds: “We know that businesses that don’t train their staff are twice as likely to fail… We know that businesses that invest in skills improve their bottom line and the health of the nation.”

So why is it not happening? As an International Recruitment Agency we are grateful to fill the gaps in the UK with mainly the famous Polish workers that have the trade skills, but for the health of the nation it is bad news.


Author: Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.